The first gay national leader?

A friend has brought attention to the fact that Johanna Sigurdardottir who will be prime minister in the new government will not only be Iceland’s first woman’s prime minister but also Iceland’s first gay head of state. 

Which begs the question, is she the first openly gay head of state in the world?

Johanna is probably the only politician that has almost unconditional trust with her people today. She is a regular fixture atop polls that measure the trust and polularity of politicians in Iceland. She has been the Minister of Social Affairs for the last few years and seems to be in the game to do good for her people instead of for her own gain. 

Ingibjorg Solrun has made good on the statement she made during the weekend that it has not been about her personal ambition to claim the prime minister’s chair. 

A brilliant move. 

In 1980, Iceland caught the world’s headlines when the country elected Vigdis Finnbogadottir to office of President, the first democratically elected female in the world to lead her nation. She served for 16 years.

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11 Responses to “The first gay national leader?”


  1. 1 ino January 27, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    i would not be too concered wether she is the first openly gay pm or not. what is more important is that she is the first stewardess, sorry air hostess, to make it al the way to pm.

    her cv?
    * Stewardess at Loftleiðir Icelandic Airlines 1962–1971.
    * Office Worker at The Central Packaging in Reykjavík 1971–1978.

    your politicians are historians, philosophers, physio therapists and stewardesses. no wonder the bankers abused the system. they got their education at renowned universities and graduated in things like economy and business.

    is their really nobody in the economy department from haskola who wants the job of pm? i do not mean the receptionist…..

  2. 2 drafnsson January 27, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Funny point ino 🙂

    At least she will know how to point us to the exit

  3. 3 Ino January 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    And serve the drinks to the good people of the IMF when they come to check on the progress made…..

  4. 4 drafnsson January 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Joking aside I have not been one to criticize Arni Mathiesen for being a vetenarian. I have criticized him for being unfit for the office of minister of finance for nepotistic hirings and non-disclosure of his stake in the Savings & Loans affair.

    The nation could do with the expertise of all sorts of people with all sorts of backgrounds in the rebuilding. Johanna’s biggest asset is the one stated in the blog, she seems to care for the welfare of the country as a whole, not just some special interest groups.

    Running for office should not be exclusive to certain classes. How they appoint people into specialist positions matters more.

    At least she’ll have training in keeping calm during turbulence.

  5. 5 Kjartan January 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    So only economists or engineers are fit to be prime ministers?
    Maybe that should be made a condition for running for elections…

  6. 6 Anna January 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    So she was a stewardess. So what? Don’t be a male chauvinist, or an elitist. What if she had been a factory worker? A truck driver? Fisherman? Or should leading the country be reserved for economists and lawyers, preferably male?

    Johanna has nine years of experience as the minister of Social Affairs and has constantly been the most popular minister, so the public is happy with her work. She was a union leader for 12 years, the vice chairman of the Social democrats for nine year and the leader of her own party as well.

    So don’t give me that stewardess crap. After decades of political experience, what difference does it make what she did 40 years ago?

  7. 7 ino January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    i have nothing against stewardesses and do not care that she is a woman.i have always been a fan of ingibjork s and am sad to see her go. johanna would most likely be the very best candidate at any given point in history for this position, but not NOW! do you people not realise that you are about to go completely under due to the ECONOMY!!!! not just a bit of a hump or glitch, but completely under!!! alll of your economic structuring has to be overhauled! the central bank and the fsa have to be re-organised, new economic legislature has to be passed and while at the same time trying to revive the economy. why not, just once, at this time of need, will you people be slightly critical of your political leaders? is it so much to ask from samfylkingin to just for this once come up with somebody who can think on the same level as their advisers, rather than to blindly rely on them? are you people really that undemanding from your leaders? has the past 4 months not taught you anything about the incompetence of those that have held office over the last decade? if you have not learned anything from your past, you deserve everything that you have coming to you in the future……

  8. 8 ino January 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    oh and to say that that is elitist, is a bit silly, since you come from iceland! it is the one country in the world where even 20 year old single moms go to a foreign university on a state scholarship as if they were going on holiday! and i believe that that is a good thing. it also means that you can demand from everybody that they have some sort of qualification! and they can’t reply that they do not have one becasue they come from a poor background. this is iceland, not the usa….

  9. 9 Jon January 27, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Her qualification is, like Anna says, an extensive ministerial and political leadership experience. She has shown herself to be honest and true to her believes. She is not at all radical and people trust her to keep her steady hand on the steering wheel.

    Come to think of it ino, would you rather have one of those “highly qualified” economists who were running the Icelandic banks until October?

  10. 10 ino January 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    oh come on jon. i know iceland has a small population, but there has to be more choice than between the crooks or the stewardess…..

  11. 11 Vilhjalm A. January 27, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Given the open sewer that is currently Icelandic politics, you can’t ask for everything. She is honest and appears to have the interests of the general population in mind, not those of the crony businessmen. That is almost enough. The other necessity would be that she should know what she does not know and get advice from those who do. Haarde et al had some advanced degrees and backgrounds in business and economics and they were a total disaster.
    Besides it looks like the PM position is mostly actor and personel manager, not really executive decisionmaker. A rubber-stamp for the consensus of the party or coalition (although in the past it appears that the party was Oddson and his cronies).
    You Icelanders will see soon enough whether she is making the right decisions. If not, you can vote with your feet and join the mob banging on the doors of Althingi. The first decisions should be to start complete audits of the banks, and put qualified persons in the financial regulatory board and central bank and criminal investigations. If not, you can gather up your drums and pots and pans and head downtown.


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